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Tyron Smith will begin practicing this week

Jac Collinsworth and Rodney Harrison discuss who they're keeping a close eye on as the playoffs creep closer and describe what adjustments the Cowboys have made to be a serious contender this season.

Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith walked out of the locker room after Sunday’s game with a smile on his face. Smith didn’t play against the Colts and hasn’t played all season.

But he will return soon.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones confirmed the team will open Smith’s 21-day window this week, with the eight-time Pro Bowler’s return to practice. Jones would not rule out Smith returning to game action next week against the Texans.

“He had a good week this week,” Jones said. “I can’t think of any single thing that could help a football team more than to have Tyron Smith come in healthy at left tackle. I really can’t. So right there is the biggest lift that you could draw up for the Dallas Cowboys without exception. We’ve got that. We’re in relatively great shape at 9-3, and we’ve got a potentially healthy Tyron Smith. That will add to the entire group of offensive linemen and give us not only flex but give us strength down through there.”

The Cowboys began preparing Tyler Smith for Tyron Smith’s return by moving Tyler Smith from left tackle to left guard for a series Sunday. The first-round draft pick has replaced Tyron Smith at the position since the two-time All-Pro underwent surgery Aug. 26 to repair an avulsion fracture to his left knee.

“You saw [veteran Jason] Peters get seven or eight snaps [at left tackle] tonight,” Jones said. “And so when you look at what Tyron does to our depth as well as to our skill level in the offensive line and you add that to the level that we’re starting to play with with our skill players, now that’s a lift and that will frankly more impactful than anything that I could do with [Odell] Beckham or anybody. That is going to be lift.”